This post has been updated in 2024 according to the USA Pickleball Official Rulebook (2024).
Here’s the Scenario. You Make the Call.
You attempt the serve, but swing and miss. Try again? Fault? What’s the call?
In both tennis and ping-pong, if you swing at the serve and completely miss the ball, it’s a point for the receiving player or team. In ping-pong, even the act of tossing the ball and letting it harmlessly fall to the table without swinging at it results in a point for the receiving player or team.
But what about in pickleball? Does a swing-and-a-miss constitute a fault when playing pickleball? A replay? What about letting the pickleball bounce to the court without attempting the swing?
My guess is in rec play, you may just want to give this beginning server another chance. 🙂 After all, we were all beginners at one time! 😉
USA Pickleball Official Rulebook (2024)
While a swing-and-a-miss on the serve was previously considered a fault (pre-2020), that is no longer the case. It is also not a fault if you toss or drop the ball on your serve and let it fall without attempting a swing.
You are, however, required to execute the serve within ten seconds of the score being called. Not getting the serve off within that ten-second window would, indeed, constitute a fault.
Shown below are the relevant 2024 rules with respect to this ten-second window.
10-Second Rule. Once the score has been called, the server is allowed 10 seconds to serve the ball.
If the server exceeds 10 seconds to serve, a fault will be declared.
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Todd is the talent behind PickleballMAX. He knows pickleball and demonstrates it on the court as a 4.5 – 5.0 player. In addition to creating content and running the PickleballMAX business, Todd is IPTPA Level II certified. As an instructor at the Ohio Pickleball Academy, he instructs students and runs adult and youth clinics. He also manages tournament desks throughout the tri state for tournaments ranging from 100-500 participants.